What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Child abuse mentioned
  • Sleep disorders
  • Graphic self harm
  • Graphic blood test
  • Burns
  • Nonconsensual medical treatment
  • Needles
  • Physical assault
  • Hanging mentioned
  • Captivity mentioned
  • Bullying recounted
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Sophia’s War by Avi

Sophia’s War by Avi

On the remote island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a 48-hour test for a top-secret intIn 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical injury
  • Hanging, on-page
  • Incarceration of a sibling
  • Gun violence
  • War themes (central)
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Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

After unwillingly inheriting all of the Night Witch’s Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Death of an infant
  • Lynching
  • Whipping
  • Animal torture
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The Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Twelve-year-old Rosie Oaks’s mom is missing whatever it is that makes mothers love their daughters. All her life, Rosie has known this…and turned to stories for comfort. Then, on the night Rosie decides to throw her stories away forever, an invisible ally helps her discover the Witch Hunter’s Guide to the Universe, a book that claims that all of the evil in the world stems from thirteen witches who are unseen…but also unstoppable. One of these witches—the Memory Thief—holds an insidious power to steal our most precious treasures: our memories. And it is this witch who has cursed Rosie’s mother.

In her quest to save her mom—and with her wild, loyal friend “Germ” by her side… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Murder
  • Hanging mentioned
  • Kidnapping & presumed death of a newborn
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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Death of a mother
  • Sword violence
  • Hanging mentioned
  • Fire
  • Animal death
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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault, implied
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Drug use
  • Beheading
  • Cannibalism mentioned
  • Starvation
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Physical & psychological torture
  • Hanging
  • Poverty themes
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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ story lines intersect? … Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Colourism
  • Sexual assault
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Death of a parent
  • Lynching
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City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault

City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault

A hundred and thirty years have passed since Arathiel last set foot in his home city. Isandor hasn’t changed—bickering merchant families still vie for power through eccentric shows of wealth—but he has. His family is long dead, a magical trap has dulled his senses, and he returns seeking a sense of belonging now long lost.

Arathiel hides in the Lower City, piecing together a new life among in a shelter dedicated to the homeless and the poor, befriending an uncommon trio: the Shelter’s rageful owner, Larryn, his dark elven friend Hasryan, and Cal the cheese-loving halfling. When Hasryan is accused of Isandor’s most infamous assassination of the last decade, what little… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Parental abandonment
  • Physical & emotional abuse
  • Memory loss
  • Torture
  • Police brutality
  • Hanging
  • Death by fire mentioned
  • Homelessness
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The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again. All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House… before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Nonconsensual administration of medication
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Knife violence
  • Hanging
  • Death from a fall into an industrial saw mentioned
  • Physical assault
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One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Coming out themes
  • Racism
  • Queermisia
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Murder
  • Police brutality & violence
  • Hanging & lynching
  • Fire & arson
  • Kidnapping & confinement
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